Noordwijkse was my first stop of a 3 days and 5 WALKING rounds in Amsterdam invited by my good friend DD after 3 rounds in Spain and 6 in Portugal in 8 days. Although I am a marathon runner, I was tired and the Netherlands Journey got every single calorie left out from me. But I loved every single meter walked of it and found 5 excellent course, 2 of which I am sure deserve a top 100 spot, 2 other would be top 200 (this one for sure).
It was a very early round on a semi sunny day which started with some morning fog, almost no wind and no cold, ideal conditions. And all the same I was beaten by the course, as DD said I had to play everything from the very back ... And Noordwijkse can be a monster from there!
Course has a piece of land close to the ocean, with sandy dunes and only some trees in 3-4 holes. It is a true links, extremely challenging and with many good holes.
I found 2 "negative" aspects only: most of the back tees make you walk back and up the dunes which adds extra physical demand. This could be solved with some minor changes. And greens were in not good shape which after coming from 8 days playing at 10feet perfect greens was a brutal change for me.
About the course ... this one could be located anywhere in the UK!!! The only difference was the Club House, similar in style to that one at Hillside or Birkdale.
There are many holes to talk about:
- 600yds par 5 2nd up the hill ... drive/drive/6iron!
- 480yds par 4 4th up the hill again driver/hybrid!
- short par 4 7th dogleg left with some trees on the right side, great hole!
- long par 4 10th where a good drive can give you the advantage of getting to the lower part of the fairway.
- short par 4 13th with the false front is one that got me!
- dog leg 15th over the big dune is one of the best
- par 3 17th similar to Brikdale 14th, long iron just missed right and went 20mts off the green
- 18th is a monster from the back, another hybrid as second shot.
It was a very good start, surprising and more than I expected. Trust me, these 5 courses I played can make an amazing golf tour together with touring the cities here. And for sure Noordwijkse can be set to extreme championship conditions.
Of course, experienced hands of a good architect can turn this one easily into a top 100 course. Some routing changes, lenght really not needed and maybe some green complexes re thought and you have a world class venue.
Date: June 15, 2018